Class of 2017

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On May 13, 2017, friends, family, faculty and staff gathered to honor and celebrate the many achievements of the class of 2017 during Agnes Scott College’s 128th Commencement ceremony. Graduating Scotties have always been blessed by the lessons and advice of brilliant commencement speakers, but 2017 was particularly noteworthy with inspirational calls to action from speakers Oprah Winfrey (global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress) and Deborah Bial (president and founder of The Posse Foundation). You can watch the speeches on Agnes Scott's YouTube page

Such exciting and influential figures were the ideal commencement speakers for the Lions of the class of 2017. President Elizabeth Kiss summed up the class perfectly during her words of welcome: “You are the Lions and you have lived up to your name! Lions, you have been fierce, proud, beautiful, brave and true. Like the lion’s roar, your voice will be heard.”

The diverse class ranged in age from 20 to 47 and hailed from 23 states and eight countries. Twenty seniors were sisters, daughters, mothers, cousins, aunts or granddaughters of Agnes Scott graduates, while 21 percent were the first in their family to complete college.

During their time at Agnes Scott, the 204 new graduates took full advantage of what the school has to offer. More than 50 percent participated in a mentored research or creative project. The most popular majors were psychology, public health, business management, mathematics and economics. Thirty-seven were double majors.

“You are the Lions and you have lived up to your name! Lions, you have been fierce, proud, beautiful, brave and true. Like the lion’s roar, your voice will be heard.”


The class of 2017 eagerly engaged a wider world beyond the campus of Agnes Scott through internships and other experiential learning opportunities. Nearly 50 percent studied abroad in 33 different countries, including Botswana, Fiji, Hungary, Jordan, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and China.

Seventy-eight percent of students completed internships at organizations such as DuPont, USAID, Global Village Project, High Museum, Global Growers, CDC, Grady Trauma Project, US Senate, Georgia Superior Court, City of Decatur, NPR, AT&T, Home Depot, Marcus Autism Center, Norfolk Southern, political campaigns (Michelle Nunn), banks (Bank of East Asia, Morgan Stanley) and FEMA.

Agnes Scott’s dynamic curriculum and innovative programming equipped the ambitious class with the skills needed to succeed in post-college careers and graduate programs. The future is bright for the Lions, as members of the class will continue their education in master’s, Ph.D., law and medical programs at institutions including the University of Edinburgh, University of California, Washington University, Columbia University, University of Alabama, Georgia State University, Vanderbilt and University of Texas-Austin.

Other graduates will launch careers at organizations such as the Atlanta Braves, The Kroger Company, Cigna Health Insurance, Enterprise Holdings, Kemper Corporation and EY. The class also includes five Peace Corps volunteers, a Rotary International Peace Fellow, five Teach for America corps members and five graduates who will be going to teach in Asia.  

Perhaps most importantly, the class of 2017 has created a legacy of goodwill and philanthropy at Agnes Scott that will stand the test of time. Seniors were influential in securing Agnes Scott’s first place in the national Race to Zero Waste competition this year. They established a chapter of Every Campus A Refuge and succeeded in welcoming an Iraqi refugee family to campus. In addition, the class founded a chapter of the NAACP to speak up on issues of immigration reform, the shootings of unarmed Black men and women's rights across the globe.

The Lions raised a total of $2,367.87, which includes a generous gift of $1,500 from an anonymous challenger and gifts from family and friends, to support a senior gift of an Advantage Award at Agnes Scott College. That’s a 41 percent participation rate in giving to Agnes Scott, with 19 members of the class already belonging to our Fideles Society of loyal annual donors who have given for three consecutive years.

In a world that can always benefit from the critical thinking and leadership skills of Scotties, the class of 2017 is sure to make an immediate and lasting impact. As President Kiss said during commencement, “we know [the Class of 2017] will carry [them]selves with conviction, integrity and empathy and deploy the skills and knowledge developed at Agnes Scott to not only make a living but to make a difference.”